The Cell of Self-Knowledge

The Cell of Self-Knowledge : Seven Early English Mystical Treatises

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This is a concise but comprehensive look at mysticism. From the intro: "FROM the end of the thirteenth to the beginning of the fifteenth century may be called the golden age of mystical literature in the vernacular. In Germany, we find Mechthild of Magdeburg (d. 1277), Meister Eckhart (d. 1327), Johannes Tauler (d. 1361), and Heinrich Suso (d. 1365); in Flanders, Jan Ruysbroek (d. 1381); in Italy, Dante Alighieri himself (d. 1321), Jacopone da Todi (d. 1306), St. Catherine of Siena (d. 1380), and many lesser writers who strove, in prose or in poetry, to express the hidden things of the spirit, the secret intercourse of the human soul with the Divine, no longer in the official Latin of the Church, but in the language of their own people, "a man's own vernacular," which "is nearest to him, inasmuch as it is most closely united to him."[1] In England, the great names of Richard Rolle, the Hermit of Hampole (d. 1349), of Walter Hilton (d. 1396), and of Mother Juliana of Norwich, whose Revelation of Divine Love professedly date from 1373, speak for themselves. The seven tracts or treatises before us were published in 1521 in a little quarto volume: "Imprynted at London in Poules chyrchyarde at the sygne of the Trynyte, by Henry Pepwell. In the yere of our lorde God, M.CCCCC.XXI., the xvi. daye of Nouembre." They may, somewhat loosely speaking, be regarded as belonging to the fourteenth century, though the first and longest of them professes to be but a translation of the work of the great Augustinian mystic of an earlier age. St. Bernard, Richard of St. Victor, and St. Bonaventura-all three very familiar figures to students of Dante's Paradiso-are the chief influences in the story of English mysticism. And, through the writings of his latter-day followers, Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, and the anonymous author of the Divine Cloud of Unknowing, Richard of St. Victor is, perhaps, the most important of the three."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 50 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 3mm | 82g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1508634602
  • 9781508634607

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